Insurance does play a valid role in maintaining the fabric of society, and insurance companies offer a valuable service to their clients. Like the mortgage, groceries, utilities, etc., insurance should also be considered as another essential expense. Insurance is like an investment – necessary for those unexpected, catastrophic events that take place in our lives. Insurance is the security and protection of one’s personal assets. And as citizens, it is our responsibility to ensure that we carry the proper protection to fit our individual and family’s needs.
Based on his past experience, my father has always taught us the value of having sufficient insurance for one’s personal needs. Insurance companies will pay a guaranteed compensation in return for a monthly payment. As a family, we carry insurance for our home, auto, life, and health. Many individuals balk at paying a monthly insurance premium because they “never even use it”. They are the lucky ones. However, there are other people who will face catastrophic emergencies such as unexpected high health costs, property damage and loss after a theft, accident or natural disaster, or the illness or death of a loved one. For them, insurance is a lifesaver.
Life – When my grandfather died, he left behind a family of 6. My grandmother did not work, but thanks to my dad, the eldest of 5 children, he had the presence of mind at an early age, to purchase life insurance for his father while he was alive. Income replacement is essential. This single, responsible act saved my dad’s family from a lifetime of financial hardship. As my dad explained to us, “Life insurance is like income insurance.” The death of a breadwinner is devastating, and a death benefit does not replace the life of a loved one. However, it can replace or supplement the household income. A family needs to have sufficient insurance to pay for funeral expenses and the monthly bills that will continue long after. (It is sad when I see grieving and mourning families holding car washes or creating Go Fund Me pages to raise money for the burial costs.) Without life insurance, families will incur expensive out-of-pocket costs they cannot afford. Both my mother and father carry life insurance in case anything happens to them. Having life insurance eases our concerns and gives my brother and me some peace of mind.
Health – In 2012, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. He stayed in the hospital for 11 days. Thankfully, we only had to pay a nominal deductible, and our health insurance covered the rest of the costs, which were in excess of $100,000. These costs included surgery, after care costs, hospital stay, medications, physician office visits, etc. Without insurance, my father would not have been able to afford these expensive medical expenses and may not be alive today. As a family, we all have medical and dental insurance for our needs which can be used for annual check-ups, clinic visits, medications, dental exams and cleanings, eye exams, etc. With small co-pays, health insurance allows us to seek medical attention when necessary or take advantage of preventative services which are important for maintaining our health.
Auto – Car insurance is required by law, but it is also a necessary expense. Responsible car owners need to purchase sufficient insurance to eliminate any liability for themselves, especially if they are in an accident or cause any bodily injury or property damage to someone else. As a driver, I feel safe knowing that I carry full auto coverage. A few years ago, I was turning the corner, over corrected, and accidentally drove into a wall of a house. Thankfully, I was not injured and neither were the passengers in my car. Unfortunately, the Tahoe, our primary family car, did not escape unscathed and was totaled. Insurance covered some of the costs, and we were able to purchase a used car. Our insurance also covered the property damage costs to the homeowner’s wall. With our car insurance, we also have access to other auto services we may need in emergencies such as: towing, windshield glass replacement, gas replenishment, flat tire change, accessing locked keys in the car, etc.
Home – My family carries adequate home insurance because it offers personal liability, and it protects our home and personal assets, at and away from home. For most homeowners, their home is their biggest investment. When a pipe burst in our home, there was damage to our roof and various appliances. Insurance paid the claim. A few years ago, our home was also burglarized while we were away at work and school. Some of our personal belongings, including electronics, jewelry and money were taken. Our insurance policy covered this personal property, and we were able to replace some of these items. One day, in broad daylight, my father’s car was burglarized, and the thieves took his laptop, gun, etc. He filed a claim, and the insurance company covered the costs of the stolen items. Without proper insurance, we would be out of luck. Many people don’t want to pay for insurance because they would rather spend their hard earned money on other things. However, the potential losses can be very costly if you are not insured.
In summary, insurance is important to me because my family and I have experienced some hard times. We carried insurance, and it minimized the enormous financial hardships we could have faced. Americans not only need to be concerned about their current financial situation, but they must plan and be prepared for their future circumstances as well. Families should be well-protected against catastrophic events that may jeopardize or destroy their assets. Americans should think of insurance as a necessary investment, and not just an additional expense. For those individuals who properly insure themselves, insurance will be their lifesaver in their time of need, as it was in ours.
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